Next week is Geography Awareness Week. National Geographic offers the GeoBee Challenge app for students to play to sharpen their knowledge of geography. The app is challenging. Here are five other iPad apps that your students can use to learn and test their knowledge of geography.
Tiny Countries for iPad (currently priced at $0.99) is designed to help students learn the locations of 75 countries, their capitals, their notable cities, and some of their unique geographic features. Students learn this information in a game format. The scenario of the game is this, students have to help capture the “evil” characters (the characters are farm animals) by correctly answering the questions faster than the evil characters. Before trying each of the missions students can review each of the countries by tapping on the “learn” icon in the game.
SimpleSort: Continents (currently priced at $0.99) is a game in which students review physical and political geography facts then test their knowledge by dragging objects to the continents that they are representative of. For example, if students see an American Buffalo they need to drag it to North America. The concept and the visuals are not unique, but SimpleSort: Continents makes up for that shortcoming by providing clear narration for each part of the app. From the introductory screen through the end of every game students will never be stuck wondering what to do next. Students can tap on any object they see in the app to hear some information about the object. For example, if a student taps on a picture of the Galapagos Islands they’ll hear a short bit of information about them.
Discover USA (currently listed as free) is a geography iPad app that takes students on a tour of natural and man-made landmarks across the United States. Students are guided by an animated owl that talks to students at each stop on the tour. At each stop students learn a few facts from the owl. Before moving on to the next stop in tour students have to tap objects to answer some questions. Students keep track of their progress in Discover USA by collecting animated bees to put into a hive. Bees are collected at each stop in the tour. Parents can monitor the progress of their children by creating a free account on Discover USA.
Geography Drive USA (currently priced at $3.99) is an iPad app that elementary and middle school students will enjoy using. The app challenges students to drive their virtual cars to each state in the United States. The students move from state to state by correctly answering questions about each state that they visit. Students earn money for each correct answer. That money is then used to buy fuel for their cars and customize their cars. Students can also win trophies for accomplishments throughout the game. The game has more than 750 questions about state and national geography. Students will find questions about physical and political geography. There are some history questions mixed in too. In addition to the main game Geography Drive USA contains four mini-games and a visitor center. The visitor center contains information that students can use to answer questions when they get stuck. In the visitor center students can learn things like state capitals, state flags, state postal abbreviations, and the size of each state. The mini-games in Geography Drive USA ask students about state capitals, shapes, spellings, and flags.
GeoMaster Plus (currently listed at $3.99) is an iPad app for learning and practicing identifying countries, capitals, and landmarks around the world. GeoMaster Plus offers a simple interactive atlas that students can use to familiarize themselves with the countries of the world. Students can search the atlas by country name and capital name. Students can also navigate the atlas by tapping on a country on the map. Tapping a country on the map will bring up a fact sheet about that country. Students can test their knowledge of world geography through a variety of GeoMaster Plus activities. Students can practice identifying countries and capitals in a series of progressively more difficult levels. The identification activities can be sorted by continent. In addition to practicing identifying countries and capitals students can practice identifying landmarks as well as natural geographic features like mountain ranges. For a final challenge students can try to match flags to their respective countries.